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Home / Politics / Policy /  Govt lab proposes research on cow urine to boost effect of antibiotics

New Delhi: Encouraged by the central government’s emphasis on traditional medicine, scientists from a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory in Lucknow have proposed to conduct a research project on using cow urine distillate as a supplement to antibiotics at a cost of 50 lakh.

Scientists will test the hypothesis that consuming cow urine will increase the efficacy of antibiotics, helping in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

“Our previous research shows that cow urine distillate is an activity enhancer for all kinds of antibiotics. But the work stopped due to lack of funds. Now, we are making a fresh request for advance research on the topic," said M.P. Darokar, scientist at CSIR’s Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, who is heading the project.

CIMAP was granted a US patent in 2002 for the distillate. But further research was needed to convert it into a form of medicine which could be consumed by patients. Darokar plans to resume the research which had been stalled since 2008 due to lack of funds. The central government is keen on promoting AYUSH, short for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

“We still do not know the specific ingredient, or chemical, in cow urine that increases efficacy of antibiotics. It might be present in urines of other animals too. It also depends on the type of food cow eats and we will look into it. If we can find this, then it will be a really good supplement to antibiotics," said Darokar. He said it will help in treating all kinds of diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis or seasonal cold.

Darokar claimed this will help reduce antibiotics consumption.

“If efficacy of antibiotics increases, then the amount consumed by patients will reduce drastically. From 500mg, it will reduce to 250mg or so," said Darokar. He said this will go a long way in efforts to fight antibiotic resistance.

CIMAP is being assisted by Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, a Nagpur-based research and development organization in its research. Samples of cow urine will be supplied by the organization.

“Our work shows that antibiotics work well with Indian cows’ urine distillate. Buffaloes or foreign cows like Jersey don’t have such medicinal properties," said Sunil Mansinghka, chief co-ordinator of the organization.

He said there are 39 types of Indian cows. “We need to find which of these are best suited for making medicines. Research is needed to ascertain the food items and timing of feeding these cows which give better results for the distillate," he added.

Mansinghka said that even though there is enough evidence of cow urine’s medicinal benefits, scientific proof is needed. “People do not believe unless modern scientific methods are applied as proofs. Research at a government-approved laboratory will give legitimacy to our work," he said.

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